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Full text of "Navy and Marine Corps Medical News September 2009"

NAVY MEDICINE 

World Class Care. ., Anytime, Ajiywhere 



Issue 9 
September 11, 2009 

Inside this Issue : 

AdmiraVs Call by the Surgeon 
General of the U.S. Navy 
Vice Admiral Adam M. 
Robinson, Jr. 




Lejeune Doctor Awarded Legion 
of Merit 



The MHS Honors Outstanding 
Female Physicians 



NMCP Begins Seasonal Flu Shots 
for Staff 



Key West Health Clinic Improves 
Sailors' Readiness 



From Bench to Battlefield 



Dental Care on the Go 



Suicide Prevention Tips and 
Techniques 



Project Good Neighbor 



Did you Know,,, 

Project FOCUS (Families 
Overcoming Stress) 
provides structured activities 
and developmentally 
appropriate combat stress 
and deployment education 
designed to build family and 
service member resilience. 



I 




Navy and Marine 
Corps Medical News 

A Public Affairs Publication of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

22nd MEU Marines Save Artificial Lives 
to Learn 



By Staff Sgt. Matthew Epright, 22nd 
Marine Expeditionary Unit Public 
Affairs 

CAMP BUEHRI NG, Kuwait - The 

sound of rifle shots crackle through 
the air. Explosions can be heard in 
the distance. Wounded men cry out 
for help, their blood seeping into 
the hard ground. Marines rush to 
the aid of the wounded, their 
training fresh in their minds. They 
can save these lives. 

Like a scene out of a modern 
war movie, and just as simulated. 
Marines and Sailors from the 
22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit 
used the Camp Buehring, Kuwait, 
Medical Simulation Training Center 
to test their Combat Life-Saver 
skills Aug. 25. 



"They have mannequins that react 
like a live casualty, with respiration 
and a pulse. They blink and they 
bleed," said Petty Officer 1st Class 
Joseph Rawson, a hospital 
corpsman who trained the Marines 
in the CLS skills. 

Fast-talking Philadelphia native 
Rawson said the Army's MSTC 
replaces the usual method of 
testing, which consists of Marines 
pretending to use first aid supplies 
on notionally wounded comrades. 

"We really aren't allowed to 
practice a lot of stuff on each 
other," he said. "This gives them a 
little more visual feedback and it 
puts them a little more in the 
scenario." 

(Continued on page 3) 




CAMP BUEHRI NG, Kuwait - Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 
(Reinforced), 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, apply a tourniquet on a dummy during a Combat 
Life-Saver evaluation at the Medical Simulation Training Center aboard Camp Buehring, Kuwait 
Aug. 25. The 22nd MEU is conducting sustainment training in Kuwait while serving as the thea- 
ter reserve force for U.S. Central Command. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Theodore Ritchie 



ITssueT 
Septembe 

Admirars Call by the Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy 
Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr. 

strengthening Psychological Health and Suicide 

Prevention 



Page 2 



Navy Medicine is committed to 
ensuring our Sailors and Marines 
are medically prepared to meet 
their mission. This commitment, 
which is at the heart of Force 
Health Protection, includes both 
their physical and mental well- 
being. The two are inextricably 
linked and vitally important to 
overall health. 

The stress of our present 
operational tempo, including the 
number and length of deployments, 
impacts the psychological and 
emotional health of each of us and 
our families. We are striving to 
reduce the stigma surrounding 
psychological health issues. This 
stigma can be a significant barrier 
to seeking mental health services 
for active duty, civilians, and family 
members. Admiral Michael Mullen, 
the Chairman of the J oint Chiefs of 
Chief, stated that "the act of 
reaching out for help is, in fact, one 
of the most courageous acts and 
one of the first big steps to 
reclaiming your career, your life 
and your future." 

Navy Medicine ensures a 
continuum of psychological health 
care is available to service 
members throughout the 
deployment cycle - before 
deployment, during, and after 
deployment. Our mental health 
specialists are being placed in 
operational environments to 
provide services where and when 
they are needed and more mental 
health services are being made 
available to family members who 
may be affected by the 
psychological consequences of 
combat and deployment. In 
conjunction with our line 
counterparts, programs such as 
Navy Operational Stress Control, 



Marine Corps Combat Operational 
Stress Control (OSCAR), FOCUS 
(Families Overcoming Under Stress) 
and Caregiver Occupational Stress 
Control (CgOSC) are examples of 
services specifically designed to 
help Sailors, Marines, and their 
family members build emotional 
resiliency and manage stress. The 
goal is to provide mission ready 
service members, families, and 
commands. 

National Suicide Prevention 
Week is September 6-12 and it is 
an appropriate time to reflect on 
the importance of prevention and 
intervention. For us in Navy 
Medicine, however, every week is 
suicide prevention week, requiring 
an all-hand, full-time commitment. 
It requires all of us to apply the 
Navy Core Values of honor, courage 
and commitment in helping our 
shipmates who may be in distress. 
It also requires leadership, training, 
surveillance, and vigilance at all 
levels of command. 

Suicide ranks as the third 
leading cause of death in the Navy. 
Each tragic loss devastates a fam- 
ily, shakes a community, and un- 
ravels the cohesive social fabric and 
morale of a command. One suicide 
is too many. The Navy has 
medical, fleet and family support 
centers as well as chaplains 
standing by to help. There are also 
excellent Navy and Marine 
educational online resources 
including www.suicide.navv.mil and 
www.usmc-mccs.orq/suicideprevent 
to help as well. 

We know the key factors that 
put an individual on the path of 
suicide and we know how to help 
that individual back on the path to 
a healthy and focused life. What 
can you do to assist a shipmate 




who may be in emotional and 

personal distress? 

A-C-T: Ask - Care - Treat. 

• Ask if they are thinking about 
suicide 

• Show that you care and are 
concerned 

• Take responsibility to get them 
professional assistance 

Our primary goal remains 
saving and improving the lives of 
our Sailors, Marines, and family 
members. There is a point in 
everyone's life when they need 
assistance. 

Help me end the stigma 
attached to reaching out for help! 
If you need help, ask for help. 
If you know someone who needs 
help, stop and take the necessary 
action to help them get it. 

Every life counts. 

This is our obligation to one 
another and truly defines the word 
SHIPMATE . Please be a SHIPMATE 
to all our Navy and Marine Corps 
family members. This is the 
essence of commitment to 
ourselves, our Navy and Marine 
Corps, and our nation. 



Got News? If you'd like to submit an article or have an idea for one, 
contact MEDNEWS at 202-762-3160, fax 202-762-1705 orValerie.Kremer@med.navy.mil. 



Lejeune Doctor Awarded Legion of Merit 



By Raymond Applewhite, Naval 
Hospital Camp Lejeune Public 
Affairs 

CAMP LELEUNE, N.C. - Maj. Gen. 
Paul E. Lefebrve, deputy command- 
ing general of II Marine Expedition- 
ary Force, presented the Legion of 
Merit award to Cdr. James L. 
Hancock in a ceremony held at 
Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, N.C, 
Aug. 21. 

Hancock is currently the hospi- 
tal's director of Medical Services 
and is a highly skilled Emergency 
Room Physician. He was awarded 
the Legion of Merit for his actions in 
support of OPERATION ENDURING 
FREEDOM from March 2008 - 
November 2008, while serving as 
Commander, Shock Trauma 
Platoon, 2d Battalion, 7^^ Marines, 
United States Marine Corps Forces 
Central Command (Forward). 

The Legion of Merit is one of the 
Naval service's highest decorations. 
Hancock received the award for his 
remarkable contributions to the 
unit's operational preparedness and 
force protection. 

During his Company's deploy- 
ment, as a result of his initiative, he 
established conditions for future 
follow-on medical providers. He 
identified the need for an expedi- 
tionary and mobile trauma 
capability and later developed the 

Marines continued... 

(Continued from page 1) 

That feedback is vital to teaching caregivers how to 
physically perform what they are taught in the 
classroom. 

"The more hands-on training you can get on these 
skills, the better off the people are going to be," said 
training facilitator Lorenzo Saenz. "It needs to be 
second nature and muscle-memory is absolutely where 
it's at." 

"It's good to actually see what you're doing," said 
Sgt. Timothy Wagner, a Marine with the MEU and 
native of Bellevue, Ohio. 

Wagner, on his third deployment with the MEU, 
went through both the CLS training and the MSTC 
simulator last deployment. He said the sound effects 
were an effective addition over the previous training. 

"This year, they did the noise simulations, so you 
know what to do when you're under fire," he said, 
explaining how he had to screen out the distractions. 
"You just patch up all the holes on the victim and just 
keep them alive and get them ready for casevac." 



concept and helped design and 
build the "Mobil Trauma Bay", 
which provided his unit with a 
mobile, secure and environmentally 
controlled emergency room used to 
treat battle filed casualties up to 
the very point of injury. 

"We have changed the way we 
do business and as a result, we are 
saving lives. We can provide state- 
of-the-art medical care to the 
injured within approximately 50 
feet from the fight. The Mobile Bay 
Training Unit is a tactical trauma 
team forward of the forward of the 
forward BAS," said Hancock. 

"I am thankful, very thankful. 
When it comes time to strap on the 
tools. Navy Doctors, Corpsmen and 
Nurses are the ones. The medical 
capability that you bring to the 
battlefield and in garrison makes a 
huge difference in our ability to 
take the fight to the enemy." said 
Lefebrve. 

After giving an emotionally 
charged speech, Lefebrve called 
Hancock's 12 year old son, Connor 
forward and had him pin the award 
on his father's chest. 

Hancock told the crowd that the 
award was not about him and gave 
all of the credit to the corpsmen 
and doctors who were a part of the 
team. 




Camp Lejeune, N.C. -Cmdr. James 
Hancock's 12 year old son Connor, pins 
the Legion of Merit Medal on his father's 
chest as the presiding officer MGen Paul 
Lefebrve, deputy commanding general of 
II Marine Expeditionary Force looks on. 
The award ceremony was held at Naval 
Hospital Camp Lejeune on 21 Aug. U.S. 
Navy photo provided by Camp Lejeune 
public affairs. 



A large crowd of the hospital 
staff were also in attendance and 
many of them fought back tears at 
the General's heart felt speech 
thanking Navy Medicine for the 
significant role they play in the lives 
of the nation's warriors and their 
family members. 



Rawson says it's all about training how you fight. 

"If you train in the situation to where you can drown 
out surrounding noises, it just gets you in that mindset of 
how you're going to react to that casualty," he said. 

He went on to explain he even had the Marines 
wearing their full combat load, with Modular Tactical Vests, 
Kevlar helmets and rifles, just to add to the level of 
realism. 

"If you're not wearing the proper gear, you're not 
going to be able to figure out how it's going to hinder you, 
how you can work around it," Rawson said. "It was an 
opportunity for them to adjust themselves to a whole new 
set of skills." 

Wagner says the training is excellent, not only for 
Marines like him who are constantly deployed, but for any 
Marine. 

"You could be someone that is just at a training site, 
setting up tents. The wind blows, one of those tents 
breaks and a pole jabs through someone," he offered as 
an example. "What do you do?" 



[IssueT 
Septembe 



Page 4 



The MHS Honors Outstanding Female Physicians 



MHS Press Release 

FALLS CHURCH, Va. - The Chief Human Capital Office 
(CHCO) of the Military Health System (MHS) announces 
the launch of the new annual "Building Stronger Female 
Physician Leaders in the MHS" award. The award, which 
is the first of its kind, identifies and honors outstanding 
female physicians who have made significant 
contributions to the practice of military medicine and 
serve as exemplary role models for others. It is one of 
many innovative initiatives designed to attract female 
physicians into the MHS, a vital need because of 
increasing numbers of females entering and graduating 
from medical schools. 

"Female physicians are an integral part of the work of 
the MHS," said Ms. Ellen Embrey, performing the duties 
of assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. "This 
award represents our commitment to honor their 
contributions to military medicine, as well as an 
opportunity to motivate the next generation of young 
women physicians." 

The award will honor one junior leader (03-05) per 
service, as well as recognize one senior (06) MHS-wide 



leader. Nominees must demonstrate distinctive 
achievement and service in their field of clinical expertise, 
involvement in enhancing the role of women in medicine 
by being a positive role model for women of all ages, and 
service to their communities. 

A panel comprised of a female physician leader from 
each service as well as one female leader from 
Department of Defense Health Affairs will review and 
score each of the nomination packages and determine the 
award winners based on the order of merit. Winners will 
have the opportunity to sit on future panels. 

The role of the CHCO organization is to integrate 
efforts to sustain more than 130,000 military and civilian 
medical and support professionals. The CHCO Team is 
also responsible for the policies behind succession 
planning, faster ways to recruit and retain personnel, 
increased compensation, and improved quality of work for 
the entire MHS. 

To nominate an outstanding female physician, and 
learn more about the CHCO, please visit www.health.mil/ 
people. Nominations are due on October 30, 2009. Win- 
ners will be announced formally at the MHS Conference, 
held in Washington, DC in J anuary 2010. 



NMCP Begins Seasonal Flu Shots for Staff 



By Deborah Kallgren 

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth 

Public Affairs 

NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER 
PORTSMOUTH, Va. - While most 
people do not associate summer- 
time with flu season. Naval Medical 
Center Portsmouth is changing that 
perception. NMCP began 
administering seasonal flu shots to 
its staff last month, and its 
Commander, Rear Adm. William 
Kiser, was among the first to 
receive his shot. 

"I feel protected already," Kiser 
said afterward. 

Seasonal flu shots should not be 
confused with HlNl (swine) flu 
vaccines. While the seasonal flu 
usually peaks between November 
and February, the virus is in the 
community long before. 

"We've seen low levels of 
seasonal flu in Hampton Roads this 
summer," said Cherylann Kraft, 
Immunization Program Manager at 
the medical center. "It's our goal 
that every staff member at NMCP 
gets immunized to protect them- 
selves and prevent passing 
influenza to their patients." 



With a staff of approximately 
6,000 military, civilians, contractors 
and volunteers at the medical 
center and its branch clinics, it's a 
major undertaking to immunize 
everyone. But it's not the first time 
it's been attempted. 

NMCP's Immunization Clinic 
received a Certificate of Achieve- 
ment from Joint Commission 
Resources (an affiliate of The Joint 
Commission, which accredits 
hospitals) for successfully meeting 
the 2008-09 Flu Vaccination 
Challenge. NMCP immunized 97.2 
percent of its staff, a figure which 
does not take into account the 
medical center's military personnel 
fluctuations. 

Nationally, more than 1,700 
hospitals participated in the 
vaccination challenge; 94 percent 
met the challenge, vaccinating at 
least 43 percent of their staff. Hos- 
pitals participating in the challenge 
achieved an average immunization 
rate of 63 percent for the season. 

NMCP's near perfect success 
rate for immunizing staff was 
achieved through a combination of 
innovation, diligence and an 
ever-present desire to protect its 




patients from contracting influenza. 

"We accomplished this via 
concise programs that designated 
vaccination for health care 
providers as a condition of 
employment, and increased access 
to vaccination to include roving 

(Continued on page 6) 



pssueT 
Septembe 



Pages 



Key West Health Clinic Improves Sailors' Readiness 



By Marsha Childs 

Naval Hospital Jacksonville Public 

Affairs 

KEY WEST, Fla.-The Naval 
Branch Health Clinic (BHC) Key 
West staff understand how critical it 
is for military personnel to be ready 
to deploy in tip-top shape at a 
nnonnent's notice. They have 
instituted a successful Individual 
Medical Readiness (I MR) Program 
to ensure deployers are ready for 
any challenge. 

Whether Sailors deploy as 
Individual Augmentees (I As) or as 
part of a team, I MR is a critical 
factor to their mission's success. 

I MR includes six major 
elements: Periodic Health 
Assessments (PHA), dental 
readiness, immunizations, 
laboratory studies, individual 
medical equipment and deployment 
limiting conditions. 

Administrative Officer Lt. Jani- 
ese Cleckley and her team 
recognized that many Sailors had 
not met all their I MR requirements 
for optimal deployability. They were 
scheduling appointments, but not 
keeping nor cancelling them. 



"One of the most prevalent and 
costly issues we were facing was 
the high rate of patient 'no shows,' 
a situation beyond our control," 
Cleckley said. 

To ensure a healthy and fit 
fighting force, the medical team 
formulated a plan enlisting the aid 
of Naval Air Station Key West 
installation commanders and Senior 
Enlisted Leaders (SEL) to hold their 
members accountable for keeping 
their dental and medical 
appointments. 

In 2008, BHC Mayport logged 
1,693 no-show medical and dental 
appointments with 68 percent of 
those missed by active duty 
personnel. On average, a medical 
visit costs the clinic about $380 and 
a dental visit about $100. The 
estimated cost of these 
appointments is $643,340 in 
wasted resources. 

Cleckley said, "It is very impor- 
tant to have the area commanders' 
buy-in. Each command designates a 
Command Medical Liaison who has 
the responsibility of reminding 
members to keep their 
appointments." 



Key players at each tenet 
command provide the names of 
their personnel who are available 
for next-day appointments. The 
clinic staff reserves a slot for each 
person on the list and sends it back 
to the command's medical liaison 
who in turn informs the patient. 

Patients who need to cancel 
may call the clinic's Command Duty 
Officer after hours, thereby freeing 
up these appointments for the 
following day. This plan not only 
reduces the number of missed 
appointments but also improves 
access for others who need urgent 
medical or dental care. 

The clinic's PHA coordinator 
collects I MR data for each tenant 
command. It is prominently 
displayed on the I MR board in the 
quarterdeck showing each unit's 
percentage of readiness and active 
duty no-show rate from the 
previous week. 

If a command falls below the 75 
percentile benchmark, its scores 
are posted in red to raise 

(Continued on page 7) 



BETIO, Kiribati - (Aug. 
26, 2009) Canadian 
Army Capt. J ason Yee 
and Hospital Corpsman 
3rd Class Angel Herndon 
provide dental treatment 
to a local woman at 
Betio Sports Complex, 
during a Pacific 
Partnership 2009 
medical civic action 
project. Pacific Partner- 
ship is a humanitarian 
and civil assistance 
mission in the Pacific 
Fleet area of 
responsibility. U.S. Navy 
photo by Mass 
Communication 
Specialist 2nd Class 
Joshua Valcarcel/ 
Released 




ITssueT 
Septembe 

From Bench to Battlefield 



By Dr. Keith Prusaczyk, Director, 
NMR&D Medical 
Development Program 

BETHESDA, Md. - The Medical 
Development Program focuses on 
producing equipment, techniques 
and concepts that reduce morbidity 
and mortality of our service 
members. A primary goal is to 
enhance the logistic feasibility of 
delivering state-of-the-art medical 
care and ensuring that our 
personnel are medically qualified 
and optimally prepared for duty. 
The program serves as the Navy's 
Advanced Medical Development 
agent, acting as a transition point 
for new capabilities delivered to the 
Fleet and Marine Forces. Our 
primary role is supporting the Sur- 
geon General to effectively execute 




r 


^ 


Sufi -■" '-'^ 


.'•-*v. _: 




Y^ 


^ 






BETHESDA, Md. - The USMC new MOVES 
system. (NMR&D courtesy photo.) 



BETHESDA, Md. - The current casualty 
evacuation system (NMR&D courtesy 
photo.) 



Navy Medicine's mission in support 
of the Chief of Naval Operations. 

Navy Medicine supports both 
Navy and Marine Corps operations, 
providing essential care in hostile 
environments and ensuring 
continuity of care throughout the 
Joint Operational environment. In 
support of that mission, the Medical 
Development Program focuses on 
producing equipment, techniques, 
and concepts that reduce morbidity 
and mortality, closing capability 
gaps and enhancing the operational 
effectiveness of Sailors and 
Marines. 

Recent program advancements 
include: USMC En Route Care 
Monitoring, Oxygen, Ventilation, 
and External Suction (MOVES) 
MOVES was developed to reduce 
the logistic burden experienced by 
the U.S. Marine Corps during 
patient movement and to provide 
vital patient support during casualty 
evacuation and en route care. This 



Page 6 



device is scheduled to enter 
low-rate initial production in 
November 2009. 

PAXIight - Already in production 
the PAXIight is an LED-based 
surgical lamp being deployed with 
the Forward Resuscitative Surgical 
System. It is lighter, brighter and 
longer-lived than the lamps 
currently in use. 

Wound Management Program 

Between point of injury care and 
comprehensive rehabilitation lie a 
complex series of events that we 
call "Wound Management." This is a 
collaborative effort involving 
multiple partners and funding 
sources. 

Biomarker Panel - Identifying 
indicators of wound and body 
physiological status indicating the 
wound is ready to close. The 
benefits of this program can be 
characterized in multiple ways. In 
addition to more efficient personnel 
and resource use, this program has 
a substantial fiscal impact, if fully 
realized. 

Heterotopic Ossification (HO) 
Bone forming where there should 
not be bone, or more bone than is 
needed to do the job, is emerging 
as a characteristic of combat 
wounds. We are working on 
methods to mitigate the negative 
effects on wound healing and on 
rehabilitation and prosthetic fit and 
function. 



Flu continued... 

(Continued from page 4) 

teams who provided vaccination during all hours, includ- 
ing weekends," said Kraft. "Our program was successful 
as our leadership resourced us for success and ac- 
tively championed the drive. Of course, the (information 
technology) system that was developed was critical to 
tracking staff immunizations." 

The effort has begun again at the medical center and 
its branch clinics for the 2009-10 influenza season. All 
staff should be immunized by Oct. 1. 

"This year, staff members will receive a personalized 
wallet card that verifies they have received their 
seasonal flu shot - they need to hang on to that," said 
Kraft. "On the reverse is where we will verify they've 



received their HlNl vaccines, once they are available." 

Flu shots are mandatory for service members, and 
NMCP will soon being vaccinating shore-based and soon- 
to-deploy Sailors. Vaccination clinics and schedules will 
be announced shortly for dependents and retirees. 

As in previous years, the medical center will offer the 
FluMist nasal vaccine as well as the traditional injectible 
vaccine. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for 
the body to develop full protection against the strains of 
influenza in the vaccine. 

Kraft said, "Everyone's heard it before, but 
hand washing and coughing and sneezing into your 
shoulder are - apart from getting a flu shot - the best 
ways to prevent the flu. And if you do get sick, stay 
home; don't spread your illness." 



ITssueT 
Septemb 

Dental Care On the Go 

By Deborah Kallgren and Cmdr. Joe 
Michael, Naval Medical Center 
Portsmouth Public Affairs 



PORTSMOUTH, Va. - For some Sailors, the best thing 
about going to the dentist is the new car smell. 

Last month, Branch Dental Clinic Norfolk rolled out 
four new state-of-the-art Mobile Dental Units. Essentially 
big trucks with dental suites, the MDUs treat thousands of 
Sailors a year to maintain their dental readiness. 

Each new MDU costs $375,000 and smells more like a 
new car than a dentist's office. Each is equipped with 
digital radiography and two fully functioning dental 
operatories. 

Because destroyers, frigates, cruisers and submarines 
have no dental assets on board, the dental clinic provides 
pierside care to the crews at Norfolk Naval Station and 
Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base. Dental clinic staff 
schedule appointments with Sailors, drive the MDU to the 
pier, and restore the dental readiness of the service 
member. 

"The majority of the Sailors will only need a cleaning, 
exam or a filling," said Cmdr. Joe Michael, Fleet Liaison 
Officer at the clinic. 

Not only is pierside dental care convenient for Sailors, 
but it also saves commands many work hours that would 
be lost if crew members had to travel to appointments at 
brick-and-mortar dental clinics. 

Michael added, "Dental readiness is a key thing. To 
convert Sailors from Class 3 to Class 1 without having to 
go to Sewells Point (dental clinic) really saves manpower 
for the commanders of ships and the line. It's - hands 
down - the most effective way to provide service to the 
fleet." 

Last year, the clinic's Fleet Department treated more 
than 14,500 fleet Sailors, averaging 82 patients a day 
using two vans. Currently there are six older units in 



Page? 




PORTSMOUTH, Va. - NMCP Commander, Rear Ad m. William Kiser, 
center, with members of Branch Dental Clinic Norfolk. Kiser toured 
one of the clinic's new Mobile Dental Units at NMCP's historic BIdg, 
1, the nation's first naval hospital. This MDU is one of four new units 
that will provide pierside care to Sailors on board ships and subma- 
rines with no dental assets. Equipped with two dental operatories, 
each MDU can treat up to 65 patients a day, restoring a Sailor's 
dental readiness. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Spe- 
cialist 2"^ Class William Heimbuch. 



service, and some will be retired as the new MDUs come 
on line. The vans also help with humanitarian missions 
in Hampton Roads in conjunction with the Common- 
wealth of Virginia. 

Hospital Corpsman 3'"^ Class Chantel DeValk is 
excited to provide more dental services and capabilities 
to the fleet. "We'll treat about 40 patients a day in a 
unit, depending on what they need. We can see up to 
65 a day" in each unit, she said. 

BDC Norfolk is a unit of Naval Medical Center 
Portsmouth. Its Fleet Department has successfully 
deployed 144 ships at greater than 95 percent Opera- 
tional Dental Readiness since Sept. 11, 2001, with 51 of 
those ships at 100 percent ODR. 



Readiness continued... 



(Continued from page 5) 

awareness of the issue. On a recent 
visit to the clinic, one commander 
was so disheartened when he saw 
his unit was in the red, he secured 
early liberty on Fridays until the 
scores dramatically improved. 

The clinic is also required to 
track and report I MR data to Health 
Affairs via the Bureau of Medicine 
and Surgery The good news is the 
I MR statistics are improving. 

From Oct.l, 2008, when the clinic 
started collecting data, to June 
2009 after the implementation of 
the initiative, nearly all of the 



tenant commands showed 
considerable improvement on their 
I MR scores. Further, active duty 
no-show rates fell from a high of 11 
percent to about four percent. 

The PHA equates to an annual 
physical and is performed within 
30 days of each Sailor's birth month 
if possible. It assesses changes in 
health status, especially those that 
could impact a member's ability to 
perform his or her military duties. 
All required immunizations and 
laboratory tests are updated at this 
visit. Laboratory tests include HIV 
testing and DNA sampling. 



A dental examination assesses each 
Sailor's dental health to ensure they 
are within acceptable standards to 
deploy. 

The I MR makes certain Sailors 
are outfitted with medical 
equipment such as gas mask 
inserts, eye glasses and medical 
warning tags. 

The I MR information, which is 
available electronically to unit 
commanders, assists with 
contingency planning when a Sailor 
is not medically ready to deploy 
due to a chronic or prolonged 
health condition such as pregnancy. 




Pages 



Suicide Prevention Tips and Teciiniques 



By Hugh Cox, Navy and Marine 
Corps Public Health Center 

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Suicide has 
been the third leading cause of 
death in the Navy and Marine 
Corps during the past decade, 
with nnore than 40 Sailors taking 
their own lives in 2008. 

On a nnuch larger scale, suicide 
is a national problenn as nnore than 
30,000 die by suicide each year, 
and there are nnany nnore 
unsuccessful attennpts. Suicide 
ranks as the 11^^ leading cause of 
death in the United States. Anyone 
contennplating suicide should re- 
ceive imnnediate nnedical care. More 
infornnation is available at http:// 
www.nimh.nih.aov/health/ publica- 
tions/suicide- in-the- usstatistics- 
and- prevention/ index, shtnnl. 

Leadership at the highest levels 
of the Department of Defense 
acknowledge the severity of the 
problem, attributing extended 
deployments and the high opera- 
tional tempo as contributing 
factors. In a recent interview, Adm. 
Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, voiced concerns for 
short and long-term solutions. 

"We have got to be able to 
support those individuals in ways 
that, in some cases, we haven't 
quite figured out yet," Mullen said 
during a lecture at Grove City 
College, Pa. 

According to Dr. Mark Long, 
Health Promotion Educator with the 
Navy and Marine Corps Public 




NAVY MEDICINE 

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Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

2300 E Street NW 
Washington, DC 20372-5300 

Public Affairs Office 

Phone: 202-762-3160 

Fax: 202-762-1705 



Health Center (NMCPHC), "The 
Navy understands the seriousness 
of the issue of suicide and its 
impact upon operational readiness 
and the morale of the Sailors and 
Marines affected by the death of a 
shipmate." 

Friends and co-workers are 
usually the first ones to notice that 
someone is having a "bad day," and 
are struggling. Warning signs for 
suicide are usually evident to those 
around the individual. Red flags for 
possible suicide often include: 

• Talk and thoughts about suicide 
and harming oneself; 

• Feeling trapped, helpless, 
powerless; 

• Feeling a burden to others; 

• Loss of purpose and not 
belonging; 

• Depression, Anger and Anxiety; 

• Dramatic mood changes; 

• Withdrawing from others 
friends, family; 

• Recklessness and high risk 
taking; 

• Substance misuse/abuse; 

• Loss of interest in pleasurable 
activities 

Significant relationship 
problems, legal problems, financial 
difficulties, health/medical problems 
and mental health issues may also 
contribute to thoughts of suicide. 

"The Navy takes the position 
that everyone matters and that life 



counts," Long emphasized. "We 
want every Sailor to be a lifesaver, 
and to help their buddy and 
shipmate if they are experiencing 
problems." 

The Navy Suicide Prevention 
Program advocates the use of 
"ACT," an action-oriented and 
positive way to assist someone in 
danger of taking his or her own life. 
ACT stands for Ask - Care - Treat. 
ACT means asking someone if they 
are thinking about suicide, showing 
that you care and are concerned, 
and personally taking the responsi- 
bility to get them professional 
assistance as soon as possible. 

The Navy has many effective 
resources to help anyone experi- 
encing psychological problems. 
Medical, Fleet and Family Support 
Centers and Chaplains are readily 
available to assist the Sailor. 
Round-the-clock helping resources 
include - Military One Source 
http:// 

www.militarvonesource.com/ . 
1-800-342-9647, and the National 
Help Line http:// 

www.suicidepreventionlifeline . org/, 
1-800-273-TALK. 

For more information on suicide 
prevention, visit the Navy Suicide 
Prevention Program 
www.suicide.navv.mil and the 
NMCPHC website at http://www- 
nmcphc.med.navv.mil/ 
healthvlivinq/ . 



Project Good Neighbor 



By HMCM (SW/ AW) Eric S. 
Covington, Navy Medicine 
Manpower Training and Education 

BETHESDA, Md. - NAVMED MPT&E 
is the winner of the 2009 Naval 
District Washington (NDW) Regional 
'Project Good Neighbor' Flagship 
Award for "Outstanding Community 
Service" contributions. 

The Navy Community Service 
Program Encompasses five Flagship 
categories that include Personal 
Excellence Partnership; Health, 
Safety and Fitness; Environmental 
Stewardship; Campaign Drug Free; 
and Project Good Neighbor. 



Project Good Neighbor is a 
year-round program that provides 
an avenue for volunteers to 
contribute to improved quality of 
life in their communities. 

By reaching out to those less 
fortunate with food drives, 
repairs/ renovations of shelters and 
homes, the Navy community can 
brighten the future for struggling 
individuals, families, and other 
communities. 

As a result of winning the 
regional award MPT&E will now 
compete Navy-wide against all 
commands in the same Flagship 
category.